British Columbia has exhibited superior economic performance over the past few years compared to other Canadian regions, and the Conference Board of Canada assured the province’s locals that the steam isn’t running out of their engines any time soon.
In a Tuesday (March 8) interview with BNN
, CBoC provincial forecast associate director Marie-Christine Bernard said that B.C. would lead the pack this year with a projected 2.7 per cent GDP growth.
Bernard attributed the province’s strength to the continuous creation of relatively high-paying jobs, as well as to increased export numbers brought about by demand from a resurgent U.S. economy.
“Consumer demand is very strong, the strongest in Canada. The housing market is also very robust, whether it’s the resell market or the demand for new homes,” Bernard stated.
B.C. is one of only four provinces that are predicted would breach the 2-per-cent mark, along with Ontario, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia
. The Board advised people in the regions hardest hit by the oil shock to consider moving.
Alberta, especially, had it bad in recent years, with the economy expected to contract by 1.1 per cent. Combined with low consumer confidence and the unrelenting oversupply of oil in the global markets, recovery still appears to be a long ways off.
“In 2015, drilling collapsed. And it hasn’t picked up this year at all. With lower oil prices at the beginning of the year, energy companies are still laying off workers. So it will be another difficult year for Alberta, and we are forecasting another recession in Alberta in 2016,” Bernard explained.
“We saw a reverse for migration in the last quarter. People are still moving to Alberta, but as the economy is not doing well at all, people are now moving to British Columbia,” Bernard added.
The trend had the compound effect of siphoning brainpower and skilled workforce from struggling provinces to British Columbia, exacerbating the economic predicament of the former.